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Intel Dothan to launch 4 Feb – report

Clock speeds to encourage upsells from Banias

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'Dothan', Intel's 90nm update of its Pentium M processor, will officially launch on 4 February, say moles from within the Taiwanese notebook industry - the source of almost all of the world's branded and unbranded mobile computers.

And in addition to the anticipated 1.8GHz model, Intel will offer 1.6GHz and 1.7GHz part, according to report at DigiTimes.

Such a move mirrors what Intel appears to be doing with its other 90nm processor, the desktop oriented 'Prescott'. Originally intended to sit above the current Pentium 4 line-up, in terms of clock frequency, low-end Prescotts will now overlap the previous generation with 2.8GHz and 3GHz versions.

The motivation behind the move is to begin commercialising 90nm products as soon as possible, allowing Intel to start making money on the project while it attempts to solve the problems of rising power consumption at higher clock speeds.

Offering both Prescott and Dothan at the same clock frequencies as existing Pentium 4 and Pentium M parts will encourage buyers to opt for the former rather than the latter, the chip giant hopes.

The three Dothans will be priced at $326 (1.6GHz), $455 (1.7GHz) and $637 (1.8GHz). The 1.6 and 1.7GHz varieties of Pentium M currently cost $294 and $423, respectively, so Intel will charge only a nominal premium for the extra 1MB of L2 cache Dothan offers over Banias.

Intel is expected to offer a 1.3GHz Low-voltage and 1GHz Ultra-low Voltage Dothans next quarter - the latter at $262.

DigiTimes cites sources at Intel's Taiwan operation as claiming 90nm yields on 300mm wafers now at least match those of 130nm, 200mm wafers. What's not clear is if 'yield' refers to the number of working processors being produced or the percentage of good to bad chips per wafer. Given the higher number of 90nm chips that can be punched out of a 300mm wafer, we hope it's the latter. ®

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